Headed towards back to the basics living.


Welcome to the Jungle-er, my garden!

So I came across this picture a few days ago:

This was taken way back in March.

I remember how concerned I was. Would I get anything to grow? What would I do with all that room in there?Well, I guess nature has its way of taking care of somethings for you:

I had never tried growing squash before-they definitely needed some more room, don't ya think?! Notice the cucumber plants struggling for sunshine down at the bottom.

Almost ready for pickin'!

We’ve also had great success with green beans this year!


The onions, cabbage and cucumber, melons, and tomatoes show great promise but aren’t quite there yet. But what really has my interest is the pumpkin….

Run, run for your lives! (At least I'm pretty sure that's what I hear all the other garden plants screaming!)

I had never tried to grow pumpkins. My good friend, Rachel suggested I plant them on a small hill outside the garden and that the pumpkin would cover the entire thing. Well, I got a little nervous-we had some gopher interference a couple of months ago, so I put them in the garden. Next to the watermelon and the cantaloupe. Can’t see them? No? They are in there-somewhere- just a growin’ away!

I honestly thought pumpkins would take forever to grow. But there is one big guy who just couldn’t help but take off…..

I'm so excited! He must be a foot or two around.

Then I noticed several more smaller ones starting to grow. I was so suprised how soon they we’re popping up so I went back and looked at the seed packet. “Fruits can reach 6 ft in diameter. Excellent for prize pumpkins!” OMG! Note to self: READ THE SEED PACKET NEXT TIME!”  (LOL!)

But hold on! That’s not all. I was reading one of the many blogs I like to peruse  a few days ago and I saw where this lady had stood her children next to these gigantic “mammoth” sunflowers. She was saying how every year they just kept growing back taller and taller. The first year they we’re approximately 12 ft and now this year they we’re about 20 feet high. I went out to the garden. I stood there for a couple of seconds and gazed at the sunflowers studiously shading my cantaloupe and even part of my gigantic pumpkin plant. Could it be? I quickly waddled over to my seed packets just to check. My eyes grew big. Yep! I had bought mammoth sunflowers! They are about 6 feet high so far. I keep looking for the flower head but they just keep growing-and growing! LOL!

How much taller are these guys gonna get???

Seriously, next year, I have got to do better space planning! If not, I’m afraid my little girl my get lost in there and not find a way out (=

Hope you are all enjoying your summer harvests!


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Aunt V’s Green Chile Squash Casserole

Mmmm…this is one of my favorite dishes from DH’s family (specifically Aunt V). I had it for the first time way back when and was hooked. The recipe has been shared and re-shared through family and friends so I thought I’d share it with you hoping your family will enjoy it too. I think it makes a great spring time dish because you get that fresh veggies feeling from the squash and carrots while the sour cream and soup keep things a little hardy for those days and nights when the wind just won’t die down and let things warm up.

Then there’s that bite of heat from the green chile. Such a New Mexico staple. If you don’t live in New Mexico you could order it online through here. Their chile is pretty delish and probably the most widely available, although DH and always get ours from an old HS buddy of his that grows it. We’d like to stick with local small producers-even if we aren’t quite so local anymore. You could always try the little cans of diced chilies I’ve seen in many a grocery store-although I’ve never tried it myself. And you could always forgo the chile for little ones and for that matter the chicken is optional too.

I actually made it by myself for the first time a couple of nights ago and was a bit nervous. I do best with a little hand holding for favored family recipes. Who wants to be the one ruining a family classic? Not me! But there I was doing my best to just follow the recipe and not get too paranoid. DH had thirds. I’ll take that as a good sign! Hope you enjoy!

Squash Casserole:

The Goods:

1 Pkg. Stove top Dressing Mix (approx. 2.5 cups)

1/2 c.  Butter or Margarine

6 c. Squash (Yellow or Zucchini), chopped

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1 c. Carrots, grated

1/2 c. Green Chile, chopped (optional)

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 c. Sour Cream

2 c. Chicken, Cooked and Shredded (or diced) (optional)

The Grind:

Cook veggies in a small amount of water for 10 minutes.

Squash, carrots and green chile all go in the pot! (The chiles are MIA here because I was waiting for them to thaw out a bit more before adding.)

Drain vegetables well, add prepared chicken.

Mix soup and sour cream together, add to veggie mix.

In a 13 x 9 pan put dressing mix, pour butter over this and stir, set aside 1/2 c. Pat the rest of dressing onto bottom of pan.

Buttered and waiting!

Pour veggie mix on top  of dressing and then sprinkle with remainder of dressing. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 min.

I would have got a shot of the whole pan but I forgot to take a pic before we dived in! (We we're pretty hungry!)